A More Sustainable Christmas (a.k.a stop buying crap)

A More Sustainable Christmas (a.k.a stop buying crap)

As you probably already know, Christmas can create a lot of waste - unused presents, food wastage, plastic packaging... 

Here are some ideas and tips to making your 2021 Christmas more sustainable.

One of the easiest ways, is to stop buying crap. Store bought bonbons filled with toys no one plays with, cheap plastic toys that break, or presents people don't need.


  • Have a big family? Stop buying a present for everyone and organise Secret Santa/ Kris Kringle, so that everyone receives one good gift.
  • Try to buy experiences and not 'things'.
  • Give the gift of "your time" and offer to help with something they might need; babysitting, home maintenance.
  • Ask the person you are buying for, what they want. That way you won't buy them a gift they wont use.
  • Avoid over-catering your Christmas lunch and dinner. Plan the menu and delegate to guests who is bringing what. Send guests home with leftovers and store excess food correctly so that it can be eaten the following day.
  • Use real cutlery, glassware and crockery rather than single-use. Everyone can easily pitch in with the dishwashing.


  • Donate to your loved one's favourite cause on their behalf.
  • There are many people who find this time of year tough. Give the gift of time and volunteer with Australian charities helping those people in need. 
  • Don't have time to volunteer? Donate instead. 
  • There are so many fantastic items in op-shops. Try looking for a second-hand gift first. Think of stocking fillers or good quality clothing from stores such as PreLove.


  • Love baking? This is your chance to bake biscuits or cakes to give as gifts.
  • Have a green thumb? Give your plant-loving friends a potted plant.
  • Enjoy crafting? You already know what to do!


  • Support smaller businesses where items are more likely to be ethically and locally made / sourced. This keeps money in the local economy and also reduces your carbon footprint.
  • Buy gifts that will last, rather than ending up in the bin.


  • Avoid gifts that come wrapped in a gazillion layers of plastic or styrofoam.


  • Reuse wrapping paper that has been gifted to you, use old magazines, newspapers or even that huge pile of paintings your children have created!
  • Try your hand at furoshiki, the traditional Japanese wrapping cloth. You can use scraps of cloth you have at home, a tea towel which is part of the gift or scarves from second-hand shops.
  • If you really want to wrap your presents in paper, use recycled paper. Avoid shiny, glittery paper as this can't be recycled.